Weatherford shares seesaw amid questions about its management, debt covenants

Pemex engineer is a site manager for Mexico's national oil company, Pemex, which has hired the global oilfield service company Weatherford Intl. to drill using the technique known as fracking.
Nick Miroff | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Pemex engineer is a site manager for Mexico's national oil company, Pemex, which has hired the global oilfield service company Weatherford Intl. to drill using the technique known as fracking.

Weatherford International shares fell as much as 14 percent Tuesday before recovering about half that ground by market's close.

The cause of the initial tumble was not immediately clear, but Matthew Marietta, a research analyst at Stephens, told CNBC he thinks the initial drop could be because shareholders are losing trust with the company's management.

The company's later assurance that it expects to meet all debt covenants at the end of the year cued the bounce.

Weatherford said in its statement Tuesday, "The relative tightness that we are currently experiencing on the Specified Senior Leverage and Letters of Credit Ratio is expected to be alleviated by improving EBITDA and a declining balance of Letters of Credit."

It continued, "Additionally, given our growing order book, increasing tender flow and the recovering levels of customer activity, we expect to continue to meet all applicable revolving and term loan revolving and credit facility covenants through the remainder of 2017."

Shares were up about half a percent in extended trading Tuesday.

Marietta, of Stevens, blames too many broken promises from management: "It's failing to generate free cash flow. It is also offering strangely ambitious or lofty guidance while oil prices look vulnerable." Stephens has an "underweight" rating on the stock and a $4 price target.

Weatherford's stock is down more than 45 percent year to date.

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